miércoles, 7 de octubre de 2009
The Ecstasy of Saint Theresa (clic here wiki) (alternatively Saint Teresa in Ecstasy or Transverberation of Saint Teresa) is the central marble group of a sculpture complex designed and completed by Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini for the Cornaro Chapel of Santa Maria della Vittoria in Rome. It is one of the sculptural masterpieces of High Roman Baroque.
The entire ensemble was overseen and completed by a mature Bernini during the Pamphili papacy of Innocent X. During this time, the sculptor's past involvement with the profligate expenses of the prior Barberini papacy had disgraced Bernini and deprived him of much Vatican patronage. The services of Bernini's studio were thus available to a patron such as the Venetian Cardinal Federico Cornaro (1579–1673). Cornaro had chosen the otherwise nondescript church of the Discalced Carmelites for his burial chapel. He had reason to avoid burial in Venice, since his appointment as a cardinal by Urban VIII while his father Giovanni was Doge had created a furor in his home-city, which banned families from holding such powerful positions simultaneously. The chapel chosen had previously depicted St. Paul in Ecstasy, and the Cardinal replaced it with the ecstatic event undergone by the first Carmelite saint, recently canonized in 1622.
The chapel is an explosion of colored marble, metal, and detail. Light filters though a window above Teresa, underscored by gilded rays. The dome is frescoed with the illusionistic cherub-filled sky with the descending light of the Holy Ghost allegorized as a dove. On the side walls, in boxes as if at the theatre, are life-size high-relief donor portraits of the male members of the Cornaro family, present and discussing the event.
The two focal sculptural figures derive from an episode described by Teresa of Avila in her autobiography, The Life of Teresa of Jesus (1515–1582), a mystical cloistered Discalced Carmelite reformer and nun. The chapter describes divine visions, including one where she saw a young, beautiful, and lambent angel standing aside her body:
I saw in his hand a long spear of gold, and at the iron's point there seemed to be a little fire. He appeared to me to be thrusting it at times into my heart, and to pierce my very entrails; when he drew it out, he seemed to draw them out also, and to leave me all on fire with a great love of God. The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could not wish to be rid of it. The soul is satisfied now with nothing less than God. The pain is not bodily, but spiritual; though the body has its share in it. It is a caressing of love so sweet which now takes place between the soul and God, that I pray God of His goodness to make him experience it who may think that I am lying.
La obra Éxtasis de Santa Teresa (clic Wiki aqui) es la obra más conocida del escultor y pintor Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Fue realizada entre 1647 y 1651, por encargo del cardenal Cornaro, para ser colocada donde iría su tumba, en la iglesia de Santa María de la Victoria (Santa Maria della Vittoria), en Roma, donde actualmente se encuentra, en la llamada Capilla Cornaro. Esta considerada una de las obras maestras de la escultura del alto barroco romano.
Todo el conjunto fue supervisado y completado por un maduro Bernini durante el papado de Inocencio X. Durante este tiempo, la implicación pasada del escultor con los gastos derrochadores del previo papado Barberini había hecho que Bernini cayera en desgracia y se le privó en gran medida del mecenazgo papal. Bernini estaba por lo tanto disponible para el veneciano Cardenal Federico Cornaro (1579-1673), que había elegido la iglesia, por otro lado sin mayor atractivo, de los Carmelitas descalzos como su capilla de enterramiento. Tenía razones para evitar que lo enterrasen en Venecia, puesto que su nombramiento como cardenal por Urbano VIII (Barberini) mientras su padre Giovanni era dogo había creado cierto escándalo en su ciudad natal, con enfrentamientos dentro de las familias. Eligió una capilla que previamente había presentado a San Pablo en éxtasis, y el cardenal lo remplazó con una imagen de la primera santa carmelita en éxtasis, cuya canonización era reciente (1622).
La capilla es una explosión de mármol de color, metal y detalles. Filtros de luz a través de una ventana por encima de santa teresa, subrayados por rayos dorados. La cúpula tiene frescos con un cielo de trampantojo, lleno de querubines, con la luz descendente del Espíritu Santo representado en forma de paloma. En las paredes laterales, hay relieves a tamaño real de la familia Cornaro.
Las dos figuras principales que centran la atención derivan de un episodio descrito por santa Teresa de Ávila en uno de sus escritos, en el que la santa cuenta cómo un ángel le atraviesa el corazón con un dardo de oro. La escena recoge el momento en el que el ángel saca la flecha, y la expresión del rostro muestra los sentimientos de Santa Teresa, mezcla de dolor y placer. Según sus propias palabras:
Las figuras están realizadas en mármol blanco principalmente, y los rayos del sol de bronce. Tiene una altura de 3,5 metros. La fuerte expresividad de la obra, el desorden de las figuras y en especial del pliegue del manto de la santa, denotan que es de claro estilo barroco. Bernini además pintó la capilla donde fue colocado el conjunto, para darle mayor realismo y sensación de misticismo.
(clic here to Britannica Online Encyclopedia) people living of Benin (called Dahomey until 1975) and adjacent parts of Togo. Their language, also called Fon, is closely related to Ewe and is a member of the Kwa branch of the Niger-Congo family of African languages. The Fon numbered more than 1.7 million in the early 21st century.
The traditional economy of the Fon is based on agriculture, relying mainly on corn (maize), cassava, and yams for subsistence; palm oil is the major commercial product. Men clear and hoe the fields, and both men and women plant; the crops are tended and harvested by women. A cooperative organization of adult males aids in such tasks as land clearing and house building. Each village also has a group of professional hunters who are surrounded by supernatural sanctions. Craft specialists include male ironworkers and weavers and female makers.
The primary Fon social unit is the polygynous family, each woman and her children occupying a house within a compound. A lineage, consisting of families related through male descent, usually occupies several neighbouring compounds; the eldest male member serves as the lineage head. Patrilineal clans dispersed throughout Dahomey were formerly important, but clan organization has broken down in recent times. The worship of ancestors, however, remains a major feature of Fon religion.
The village under a hereditary chief was traditionally the primary political unit. In the Kingdom of Dahomey, which flourished in the 18th and 19th centuries, the chiefs were representatives of a powerful king. A main function of the kingship was the conduct of war, which was followed by the Annual Custom, at which prisoners were sacrificed and the goodwill of royal ancestors was sought. The king also exercised judicial powers, collected tribute, and filled political offices. In general, members of the royal clan did not hold political offices because it was believed they would be tempted to intrigue against the king; important posts were filled by commoners who would owe their appointment to the king and thus remain loyal.